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Rediscovered an heirloom

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Many years ago I helped out a friend who was having language problems with a legal dispute. While it was not a commercial transaction, my friend gave me a leather overcoat that he had bought in Belgrade when he was younger but no longer fitted him. Its one of those that was commonly worn in WW2 by SS officers and while it is perfect to wear in the freezing cold, I used to get heaps of wisecracks for looking like a member of the SS so I retired it to a wardrobe where it sat there for about 30 years.

It was made in Yugoslavia a long time ago, double breasted and with a wide collar and reasonable heavy leather and was still in very good condition apart from being a bit dry and stiff so I spent a half hour or so with some Armour All leather cleaner and it has come back looking like something out of WW2.

I am not sure if there is any advantage dressing like Reinhart Heydrich but it is a magnificent thing to wear when its really cold and the wind cuts through ordinary outer garments. I can still get into it but its a little tight around the middle and I think I can just move the buttons by about 2 CM to get just a little more room.

A bit later I will post a photo as it is a classic garment.

And wearing it will be a bit of a workout. Usually these coats weight a ton. (imagin sweaty smiley here)

I use homemade dubbin on vintage leather and better for conditioning. Essentially its beeswax and animal fats, but coconut oil works, too: 35/65 wax to oils is good ratio. I can imagine in a hard, cold wind with wool base layers, such a coat would indeed be warm v. being a cold poser. I'd choose warm every time. Looking forward to seeing the collar :)

Henry Hall:
It sounds like an excellent garment. It seems like we'll never escape being thought of as Herr Flick when wearing a leather trench-coat. My father actually purchased a leather trench only a few years ago. 2nd-hand. When he went to a pub in it (plus wearing a black hat) people said: 'Watch out, the Gestapo are here!'

Is yours black? I think brown would fare better.  ;D

I took these this morning, the coat is very heavy and its construction is more like saddlery than garment but it is really well made and it will beat winds that come up from Antarctica. It is still pretty dry but I will keep using the ArmorAll until it becomes a little more pliable. Funny part was years ago at a pub I used to eat at, many of the youngsters wanted to but it so they could look like an SS officer.


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